The Good, The Bad and the Extremely UGLY

First of all I want to make a request. There are many awards given to bloggers. Bloggers can be nominated for best health blog, funniest blog, most life  affirming blog, the list seems endless. If anyone reading this is familiar with the different awards on offer, then please, please nominate me in the category,”Worst start to a self help campaign-EVER.” I’m really sure I could win.  The evidence is overwhelming.  6 weeks since starting a blog whose sole intention was to document my attempt at moderating my alcohol consumption I have had some spectacular benders. Days of overindulgence where moderation was seen flying out the window fast than you could say,”Fill it up again please bartender.”

In the litany of my recent failings, yesterday now takes pride of place.  I need to document this day now, the day after,just so I get everything recorded correctly because I need to see it in front of me and to return to it one day to remind myself as to why I need to succeed in my attempt to moderate my drinking.

THE GOOD

Yesterday I went with my girlfriend to a wedding.  We were camping and it was the first gay wedding I had attended.  A gay wedding on Pride day- brilliant.  Really looking forward to it.  The sun was shining, the English countryside was beautiful, the couple gorgeous and there was a free bar. This wasn’t just good, this was heaven. The bar opened before the service, barrels of fine English ale from a local brewery.  I said to myself that I needed to remember that I was trying to moderate, cut down.  I had 2 pints then switched to a soft drink.  Good boy, Jim.  The service started.  As I said in a previous blog, I don’t get emotional about me but I do when I watch other people, be it in real life or on film. The service was beautiful.  I blubbed.  The two women getting married said the most amazing things to each other.  The love they had for each other was so tangible you could almost touch it. Just the right amount of alcohol to feel relaxed and chilled, wonderful setting, love filling the air , my girlfriend holding my hand, great company- Jim saw that it was GOOD!

THE BAD

Service over, the band playing, drinking beer with a famous sportsman who I did not recognise till someone pointed it out later, I was getting into the swing of things.  The moderation voice became inaudible.  My girlfriend made a comment about not drinking too much and I talked about not spoiling the fun. When I drink,I drink fast.  It was a help yourself bar. People were taking my glass and refilling it.  I didn’t object.  Beer, cider, bubbly for the toast. I was getting tipsy. We sat down to eat and next to me was a woman with a huge laugh and an even bigger capacity for alcohol. We were kindred spirits.  My girlfriend did try telling me to slow down but it was past the point of logic or reasoning.  It was getting BAD. I reached for the red wine and knocked a glass of red wine over me and the woman sat next to me.  VERY BAD. I staggered to my tent to change my clothes. Whilst I was gone several people spoke to my girlfriend to ask if I was OK and if she was OK. BAD but not quite UGLY…..Yet.

The VERY UGLY

Most of this comes from my girlfriend who told me about events this morning.  I remember very little. I was covering my ears and saying,”Stop! I don’t want to hear any more”. And …. “Oh no I didn’t, did I?”

I got back to the main tent, I drank more, I danced, I asked the drinking woman to marry me.  Very oddly I accidentally burped during one of the speeches.  My dancing cleared the dancefloor.  I was the epitome of the embarrassing drunk at the wedding. My behaviour was boorish and objectionable (why didn’t someone just hit me?). I went back to the tent and slumped across the air bed. My girlfriend tried to move me but I was out cold.  She said that she was worried I might have alcohol poisoning.  She went back and I’m glad that she had a couple of hours without me embarrassing her.When she came back I woke, sorted myself out and we went to bed. My drunken antics had been very UGLY.
This morning as my girlfriend told me of how I was yesterday I felt ashamed of myself.  I wanted to pack up and go. I did not want to see or face anyone.  The drinking woman came over and she said I had been great fun and had started speaking Spanish at one point.  I can’t remember but I was just thinking, “I need to get away from here.” My girlfriend said that I was not nasty to her or anything like that.  If I was the kind of drunk that became aggressive or nasty I would definitely never want to drink again. Nevertheless,  my behaviour had been terrible and I felt for my girlfriend.  She will have friends saying that she should stop seeing me.  They would have a point.  I think I would stop seeing me. 
So that was the wedding; the question remains; why did I drink like that? I’m not a great fan of weddings, talking to people you don’t know; a drink or two definitely helps to lubricate the social gears.  But that excessive drinking, what is that all about? Partly habit, partly my excessive nature.  Could I have been trying to disgust myself, show myself that I will never be able to moderate my drinking?  Could I have been trying to disgust my girlfriend so that she does give up on me?  I don’t know.  What I do know is that  this is not the first time I have got this way at a social function.  July was always going to be a tricky month and with a family BBQ reunion next weekend and a trip to Germany the week after that the testing times are still here.  But I am not going to subject my girlfriend again to what she had to put up with yesterday. For next week I need a plan, a strategy.  I have one or two ideas and I shall have a few alcohol free days this week and really start going to  social events with more than just a vague intention to drink less.  That clearly does not work. 

Now where’s that award, I must have won!

Jim x

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About dealingwithalcoholdependency

Semi retired professional working in education and social work. Exploring how I became alcohol dependent and hoping I can find a way to moderate rather than abstain. It may be a losing battle but reluctant at this stage to lose this constant companion.
This entry was posted in Alcohol dependency, Drunkenness, moderation, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Good, The Bad and the Extremely UGLY

  1. I have had several embarrassing weddings, and it is never fun.
    xo
    Wendy

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  2. I agree. Hopefully it will be my last. At least I didn’t embarrass myself at my own weddings!
    Jim x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. habitdone says:

    All these experiences help form our plan to what we really want, so they are important in that way. I think for folks like us, who generally seem happy with not a lot of legitimate excuses to feel down, it seems strange that we drink too much. It’s natural to sort of look for a deeper meaning. However, after being on this path for awhile I think it boils down to this:
    1) drinking just feels good…..in the moment, anyway.
    2) our body has simply become addicted to the endorphins produced by drinking
    3) alcohol is a drug. Once you get going your stop-ommeter quits on the job.
    Some of issues you mention might be the reason you want to drink, to zone out, etc but they aren’t the reason you keep drinking once you start. In other words the desire to drink may be physiological AND emotional but I think the continuing to drink is at what Finding a Sober Miracle recently reference to me as the lizard brain. A base subconscious thing triggered by that first drink. The question is whether you can control the lizard or not. I’ve been observing my cravings as of late. I realize how easy it really is, if I really WANT to, to move beyond the craving. Usually food of some sort does the trick, or changing settings, distracting myself and then I am amazed at how the craving goes away. But that’s really only good at not even taking that first drink. Once I start drinking it’s very hard for me to stop at just one or two glasses.

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    • I agree with that 1,2,3 and that was probably what was happening on Saturday. It’s also circumstances and association though. If I go down the pub with a friend I will usually just have a few pints because it would look odd to drink more than my friend and I would be breaking the unwritten rule of rounds and matching drinks. At the wedding, rather like parties there is no social brake on the drinking other than self regulation and in those situations that lizard brain you mention certainly can take over. Really useful comment, thank you.

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  4. Ad dy says:

    Sadly it comes down to one thing – denial. Denial that you can take it or leave it. Once you start, you cannot seem to stop. Which is why you shouldn’t have that first drink. For most people it’s not a problem, but for an alcoholic it is impossible to “just have the one”. Sorry to be a partypooper.

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    • Hi Addy I get what you are saying and that was certainly the case for me at the wedding. I do sometimes drink heavily but the term alcoholic covers such a wide spectrum. I’ve had no alcohol since Saturday. I have been teaching and tomorrow in my other work may well have to deal with serious alcoholics who have lost jobs,homes and relationships due to alcohol. In other words I function most of the time without alcohol and think with me I am not near that type of extreme, wake up in the morning needing a drink type of alcoholism but I can see the dangers if I don’t do something to moderate my intake. I know it’s difficult for someone who is alcohol dependent like me to always moderate but I feel that with effort and support I can change some of the bad habits I have got into. I completely get where you are coming from and I know you had a really tough time husband of it with your husband but each person’s relationship to alcohol is different and I am on a bit of a mission to try and prove that it is possible to redefine a problematic relationship to alcohol. Watch this space. You may prove to be completely correct but I want to try the moderation way first. I really respect and appreciate your comments.
      Take care
      Jim

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